How Do I Identify Cylinder Head Castings on World Heads?

by Floyd Drake III

Since 1987, World Products has manufactured a full line of aftermarket cylinder heads for high-performance Ford and Chevrolet engines. There are essentially four World Product lines, the Sportsman and S/R series for small-block Chevy engines; the Windsor series for Ford; and the Merlin series for big-block Chevrolet engines. World is known for consistent and standardized casting specs, which simplifies the identification process, with each World cylinder head model containing unique casting numbers that identify each World product. Identification of World cylinder heads requires removing the valve cover in order to view the casting numbers.

Step 1

Remove the valve cover to access the World head identification numbers. The valve cover is easily removed by loosening the bolts holding it to the cylinder head. When replacing the valve cover, check the valve cover gasket to see if it needs to be replaced.

Step 2

Locate the World cylinder head identification castings. On World heads, casting marks and numbers are found below the valve cover bolts, in-between the valve rocker studs. All World heads have a World casting mark. Located on the left side of the cylinder head top, with the exhaust ports facing you, there is a "W," indicating World.

Step 3

Decode the World Ford cylinder head identification numbers. According to World Products, Ford models are the Windsor and Windsor Jr., with intake runner volume being the only difference. The casting number is located on the right of the head, between the second set of rocker studs. World identifies Windsor head casting numbers as "I-051" for cast-iron models and "I-034 for aluminum models. Windsor Jr. numbers are "I-056" for cast iron heads and "I-057" for aluminum heads. Windsor Jr. heads are also marked with "J/R."

Step 4

Identify World Chevrolet cylinder heads. According to World Products, the Sportsman model casting number is "I-037" and S/R model casting number is "I-052." Standard S/R heads have the casting mark "S/R' above the casting number, while S/R Torquer heads have "305" above the casting number. The Big-block Chevy Merlin head casting number is "I-043," followed by a "B," "C" or "D" indicating the port size. Merlin heads are also stamped "World Merlin" on the outside of the cylinder head, above the exhaust ports.

Step 5

Determine the casting date of the World cylinder head. World uses two dating systems, the first is two numbers separated by an "X," with the numbers representing the last two digits of the casting year. 1988 is identified by "8X8." The other is used on S/R Chevrolet heads for Chevrolet engines, where "AV8," indicates January 1998. S/R heads were first cast in 1990.

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